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Legoland: Perfect Theme Park for Kids Under 7

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

One of the highlights of our trip in the US is visiting theme parks because there’s no way a three year old kid would enjoy a trip without this.  However, as we all know, even theme parks tend to be for young adults (13 yrs up) or big kids (7 yrs and above).  Therefore, in theory, there’s not much of a choice.

Learning from Previous Trips

When we went to Hong Kong Disneyland in 2010, my little princess did enjoy being with Mickey and Minnie (waiting for 2 hours on the queue) and taking some family rides like the train (going around the Disney Land), some 3d show (like Shrek) among other things.  I would not say that at age 2, Disney is not advisable because she already had her fondest memories with that.

What I learned is that you cannot really ‘maximize’ a theme park trip by riding all you can and running here and there if you are with a toddler or for a little kid aged  5ish or below. You have to leave kids be kids.  That means letting them ride what they want and expect some snooze time as well.

My Legoland Perception

While planning our trip to California last March, Legoland was part of the itinerary designed by my sister.  Though I have not heard of Legoland before, by its name, I can sense some interesting things there.  Surely this is created by the Lego company known for this toy bricks you put together to come up with something.  But I could not imagine anything else.

My Legoland Experience

Legoland Carlsbad was just across Palisades where we stayed.

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In Legoland, everything that Midas touches becomes a masterpiece of lego bricks!

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While Aurora, the Sleeping Beauty laid on her bed, all other creatures were turned into statues made of lego…

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Other interesting sights at the Legoland

Bonding moments with the neighbors in the backdrop

Older kids can also try this!

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While queuing, there are play areas to keep little princess from getting bored

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Here goes the rides!

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This one requires motor skills to control the cars. Too much for a three year old. See her face?

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The horse ride requires kids height at least .9 m.  She almost missed this ride. Look at her toes!

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Short slide that has scary moments. Look at my face!

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Most of the rides were really fit for young kids aged 7 and below.  I can imagine older kids being bored with the rides already.  Well that makes it really for young kiddos!

We tried a mini-roller coaster that left my little princess shaken a bit though she’s fine.  For my standards (I don’t ride roller coasters), I won’t go for it again.

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At the Lego factory ‘museum’

 

Legoland Comes to Southeast Asia

Now that the Legoland Malaysia is opening in a few days, assuming they have the same standards which I expect it would have, I definitely recommend this for those who have kids under 7 years old.  Surely, it’s worth a trip to Johor.

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Categories: Parenting, Reviews, Travel

Don’t Fly United If You Have Kids

April 23, 2012 2 comments

After a hiatus of weeks, I am finally back with a revenge! We spent three weeks of vacation in California visiting family and relatives.  The worst thing that could happen is end this with a bad experience on the plane.  I have ranted this out on social media including Facebook and even Instagram so let me do this for the record on this blog.

Me, my wife and my three year old daughter all in middle seats.

 

Last day finally came, a day after my birthday, 28th March. At the airport, while checking in, I was told by the ground attendant that my seat will be separate from my wife and daughter. Well, that’s not good news. So I asked if she can arrange for us to be together. She said she cannot do anything about it. So I thought I’ll try to find a way when we get there and hopefully I could find a good soul willing to swap seats.  So we got into the plain and there turned out to be a crazy situation awaiting us.  We learned that we were all assigned to separate seats including my three-year-old daughter. What the heck! I did not bother to check that out when I was checking in but who would have expected this?  I have not traveled so much with my family but most in my experience was that it was always common sense that we were assigned seats together. A three year old kid sitting beside a parent really makes sense.

Fortunately, I was able to arrange a swap with  a gentleman so my wife and daughter could seat together.  I did not bother to ask the other guy seated on the other side because it was obvious that he was not interested.  I wanted to seat close to them for obvious reasons. I found a seat on the aisle still unoccupied and so I sat there hoping that no one will show up or at least I could ask to swap.  While waiting, I talked to one stewardess and told her what happened and my intention to swap, her only comment was something like “Oh that’s the usual thing that happens every day”.  She brushed off the incident casually and said I can wait and see if the passenger assigned to the seat will not show up.  After some time, the person came assisted by another matured stewardess. So I asked if I could swap and explained what happened.  Her reply was that I cannot do that. She said I could only swap if the person does not show up and that I cannot talk to the passenger to swap. What kind of crap is that? They were comfortable that I managed to swap a seat so my wife and daughter could seat together but they never offered any consolation.  Now, I may be asking for more than the minimum, but can’t you at least be nice?

I wonder now what would have happened if we did not get to swap a seat for my wife in the first place!

Moving on, I shared this in the social media and was thankful for those who shared my story.  One United Airlines staff picked it up from my Instagram post. Thanks for the comment but did not offer any other solution to move on with that.  Lastly, I logged on to their website to report the issue and never even got an email acknowledgement of my complaint-  which is odd because I would normally get this even from the most ordinary company or even government agencies.

Well, as I learned, some friends who fly using United Airlines have expressed that indeed this airline is the worst- and yet they do not have a choice because its routes seem to be the only convenient choices from america to Asia. Oh my,  see how a monopoly could kill good customer service!

I missed my wife and daughter during that 12 hour trip from Los Angeles to Japan stopover.  It was like missing them for weeks and months! I could only look at them from afar and would drop by once in a while.  I would not have let the airplane take off if we were not together on our final destination trip back to Singapore. But the same ground attendant did it correctly for this flight.

So  then, would I have a choice next time I fly?  The lesson I learned here is never assume companies will provide good service.  Next time I check in, I will give a dumb instruction: “Can you please make sure the three of us are seated together? You see, in our last flight with United Airlines, we were given seats apart from each other including my three year old daughter. “  Seriously. This is something I have always taken for granted. Now don’t wait for your turn. Remember this and you’ll be forever grateful to me!

My priority is United Airlines' priority except my family 😦

 Update: On 26 April 2012, I received an email from their Customer Care undersigned by Martin Hand (Senior Vice President, Customer Experience) apologizing for not replying immediately and explaining that the United and Continental merger caused some trouble in their systems. Strange that this email came just days after I published this post. They said that they have documented my complaint and promised to send an electronic travel voucher as token of appreciation for the feedback. Thank you, United for the gesture. Surely I had to write this on my blog to reach you.

Now, I have this song in my head: “A man can tell a thousand lies; I’ve learned my lesson well; Hope I live to tell the secret I have learned till then; it will burn inside of me…” (Live to Tell, Madonna).  😉

Coming up next…  Bring The Right Baggage Going to US

Categories: Parenting, Reviews, Travel
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